St. Paul man arrested in St. Cloud after assaulting, fleeing police during traffic stop

A St. Paul man is in custody after he assaulted a police officer and fled authorities Monday evening.

The Waite Park Police Department says at about 5:30 p.m., an officer saw a vehicle that was reported to have been involved in a hit-and-run crash in St. Joseph, and made a traffic stop on the vehicle in the area of Waite Avenue and Division Street in St. Cloud.

The officer, along with a Stearns County deputy, identified the driver as 24-year-old Kenari Harper.

After being advised he was under arrest while officers were handcuffing Harper, he pulled away from the officer, reportedly swung his arm around and hit the officer on the side of the face, which caused the officer to lose his grip. Harper then fled from authorities on foot into the Crossroads Center parking lot and eventually ended back in his vehicle and left the scene.

A female passenger, who had been in the vehicle with Harper, was able to get out of the car after Harper returned to it and was found lying in the parking lot uninjured.

The officer from Waite Park deployed his Taser on Harper, but the probes did not hit him, according to police. While fleeing, Harper drove over several curbs and apparently blew out a tire. Harper was eventually detained.

Harper faces multiple charges, including hit and run, fleeing a police officer, fourth-degree assault. Officers also determined Harper had a Department of Corrections warrant.

No one was injured in this incident.